**SOLD OUT** Please Call the Office to be placed on a Waiting List by 5 pm***** FREE SEMINAR THIS SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6TH, 2016




Have you ever pushed your dog away from giving kisses because his breath smelled like an old garbage can?  

Do you prefer the back end of your cat to the front end?

If you said “Yes” to either of these questions,
then this is the FREE seminar for you!

“Sinking Your Teeth into Periodontal Disease:  What Your Pet Wants You To Know About His Dental Health”

by Dr. Tonia Shatzel

Periodontal Disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and bone around your pet’s tooth due to a buildup of tartar.  Periodontal disease can be a “silent killer” and is most likely the cause of that bad odor that comes between you and your “Furrbaby” smooches!  Left untreated, periodontal disease can become a painful condition, and that’s why 30A Vet is here to help!

In celebration of National Pet Dental Health month, 30A Vet is sponsoring a free educational seminar to discuss the causes, prevention and treatment of periodontal disease.  In addition to the free seminar, we will have Door Prizes for two $50 Gift Certificates to Furry Fanatics, and two $75 gift certificates to Jade Nail Salon

Everyone who attends will receive a free toothbrush and toothpaste with instructions on the proper way to brush a pet’s teeth, and a certificate for a Free Dental Exam at 30A Vet. 

Of course we will have Mimosas and swag!  

And if all that doesn’t get you excited
enough to join us, then chomp on this:

Everyone who attends the seminar will receive $200 off any dentistry performed at 30A Vet by March 15th, 2016.

When: This Saturday, February 6th, 2016, 9:30 AM

Where: Jade Nail Salon (No pets, please!)

RSVP to info@30avet.com or call 30A Vet at 850-660-1892 to reserve your seat.  Space is limited to the first 25 people, so please call today!

Composure and You

Does your pet stress about vet visits?
We may have a solution for you.

We are currently offering a product known as Composure Pro.  It is an all-natural way to calm your pets. Composure comes as a liver-flavored treat and is great for use during all times of stress including vet visits, storms, car rides, boarding, and more. Simply give your pet the recommended dose of these treats approximately an hour before a stressful event, and your pet should relax without the use of stronger medications. This is an all-natural supplement that will aid in calming your pet without causing them to seem sedated. Since the active ingredients are Thiamine (Vitamin B1), L-Theanine, and C3 (a colostrum complex), you can double, and even triple the dosing (depending on your pets needs), and not have to worry about unwanted side effects. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this product, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist you. 


The Importance of Pet Dental Care

Dental disease is the most common disease seen by veterinarians. 

Most pets over the age of 2 have some form of dental disease.  It is an often overlooked threat to the comfort and well being of your pet. 

Some signs of dental disease include bad breath, yellow, brown or discolored teeth, red inflamed gums, pain when eating, loose teeth and swollen mouth or jaws.   Dental disease can have a major impact on your pet's organs including the heart, liver, and kidneys. 

Following a wellness exam your vet may recommend a dental cleaning procedure, oral care, routine or special treatment based on your pet's specific dental needs.  Most dogs and cats after the age of 2 or 3 will need routine dental cleanings every 1 to 2 years.  Good oral hygiene habits at home, including brushing, dental chews or dental additives can dramatically increase the time needed between dental cleanings. 

Benefits for your pet include reduced plaque and tartar, decreased oral infections, prevention of bad breath and also help prevent heart, liver and kidney disease caused by dental disease.  Remember your pet has the same dental needs as you do. 

For further information please feel free to talk to your vet or technician about dental disease,  dental cleanings and at home dental care. 

The light at the end of the tunnel and Giardia.

What I should have done, starting about eight months ago, was keep a journal.  Now, however, we're here, we're open, and all the crazy stories, like when I accidentally ran the battery down in the mobile van, and then had to ask my poor clients to jump start the van, and then immediately backed it into a tree as I was leaving...all those stories are getting harder and harder to remember.   Ah, the good old days.

So at this point, we should probably start from here and go forward.  I promise to be a better blogger from this point on, and the good stories?  Well, they will be preserved on these blogs, forever preserved on the world wide web for future generations.

However, I can remember what happened this week!  And that brings me to today's topic, boring to some, but very much on my mind:  Giardia.

Giardia a little microscopic single-celled intestinal parasites that inhabit the intestines.  Dogs and cats can carry it, and it can make them sick.  But what's also of interest is that Giardia is a "zoonotic" parasite, meaning we human animals can catch it from our non-human animal friends.  You can probably intuit what Giardia does to both our pets and to us, and trust me, you do NOT want to get Giardia!

The reason I'm prattling on about Giardia is that I have never diagnosed it so much in my career as I have over the last two months!  I don't know if it's the problem with pet overpopulation here on the panhandle, or the mild climate, or if it's just the fact that there's a new, more sensitive test out for Giardia which I've been running on all shelter pets and new puppies, but I just feel the need to let my clients know that if you get symptoms, of, shall we say "Montezuma's Revenge," but didn't just come back from Cancun, you may want to mention to your doctor that a test may be in order for both you and your pets to be sure you haven't picked up this nasty little hitchhiker!  

Whether you bring in a new pet from a shelter or a breeder, Giardia LOVES to hang out where there are a lot of pets, so a quarantine is in order for all new pets until they've been tested, and pick up and discard all feces to prevent contamination of your yard.  Finally, if your pet is diagnosed, and you have symptoms of intestinal distress, please don't forget to tell your doctor about your exposure!



Where to begin?


The Dogs of 30A book created an opportunity to meet many wonderful people and dogs (and actually several cats!) on 30A.  I now have many dear friends from that experience, and I’m ready to share some exciting news!  If you know me, you know I’m always up to something, and this time it’s something really, really BIG!

I loved doing photo shoots down here a few years ago, and I loved meeting new people with their dogs on the beach.  But what has been tough these last few years was getting to know people on 30A, and then telling them that I didn’t practice veterinary medicine in Florida when they expressed interest in becoming a client.

Last year I obtained my Florida license.  Basically you have to be licensed in every state in which you wish to practice medicine, veterinary or otherwise.  I’ve been licensed in Georgia all these years, but finally decided to get my Florida license too.  We were spending about a third of the year down here, so I started offering house calls to friends in both Georgia and Florida.  To say the least, I have not been bored!

Fast forward to January of this year.  On January 2nd, I decided I couldn’t take one more day of this back-and-forth lifestyle!  I decided I was coming home….home to 30A.  

For the last 35 days or so, it’s been non-stop craziness!  I sold my old house, started applying for business loans, alerted my family, and started planning the move.  In the meantime, I’ve created a business plan and an Excel spreadsheet forecast so complicated it makes my head spin (gotta give my partner, Rob “Kingfish” Wood, all the credit for that fancy spreadsheet), and talked to so many banks that I’m practically hoarse!  Now I’m hours into website design with my favorite graphic designer in the universe (Keri Atchley, Design 360), and this project is happening one way or another (please send good vibes out to all the banks I’m currently talking to!).  Stay tuned for frequent updates and to find out all the details…I promise to tell them to you just as soon as I know!

It's Complicated


Vaccinations are getting a bad rap these days, and some people are avoiding them like the plague.  As your veterinarian, it's my responsibility to recommend the best plan for your pet, balancing risk of disease with possible risks from vaccinations, and taking into account some unintended consequences as well.

Although each pet I see will get a specific recommendation, please read this brief explanation of where I currently stand on vaccinations.  Also, please be aware that this is a rapidly-changing subject, and I reserve the right to change my medical opinion about vaccinations at any moment.  This is how "practicing medicine" works, and I may change my recommendations due to experiences on my part, resurgence of a disease, or new informational studies.  What I DO NOT use to formulate my opinion is hearsay, wive's tales, and ideas not backed by science or my own personal experience.

1.  In my opinion, vaccinations are basically safe.  Of the thousands of pets I've vaccinated over my career, the vast majority respond well to vaccinations, never come down with the disease they've been vaccinated for, and live to a ripe old age.  Exceptions:  The rare allergic reaction (ranging from mild and annoying to the rare severe and possibly life-threatening), severe fever and debilitation in elderly pets, possible vaccine-induced cancer in cats (1 in 30,000 chance), and, Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia (unconfirmed relationship).  

2.  Puppy and kitten vaccinations are EXTREMELY important.  The vaccination schedule should begin at 7-8 weeks, and be repeated every 3 weeks until 12 - 16 weeks old (breed dependent and depending on the age of the pet when starting the series).  There are all kinds of medical reasons for this obnoxious schedule, but we are at the mercy of biology on this one.  Please be sure to stick to it, I've seen so many pets die because they didn't start on time or didn't finish the drill.  It's heartbreaking and so very avoidable.

3.  Rabies vaccine is required by law and, in my opinion, is the least problematic of the vaccines.  In my practice I've seen precious few vaccine reactions to rabies.  Rabies is available in a 3-year formulation, although it must be given the first time as a 1-year vaccine, then when boosted one year later, it is a 3-year vaccine.  Rabies is nearly 100% fatal to both pets AND people, and there are LOTS of wildlife and pet cases reported in Georgia and Florida every year.  In order to protect your family, you should ALWAYS keep the rabies vaccine up to date.

4.  There are lots of vaccines on the market, but generally the "old basics" are what I recommend:  

Other vaccinations to be considered on an individual basis:  FIV, GIARDIA, LYMES, CANINE FLU

5.  Finally, I truly believe we are giving our pets more vaccines than they really need, but I'm not sure our overvaccination is causing any real health problems in our pets, EXCEPT THIS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE: SKIMPING ON IMPORTANT BLOODWORK, DENTISTRY OR HEARTWORM PREVENTIVE BECAUSE THE CLIENT HAS ALREADY MAXED OUT THEIR CREDIT CARD PAYING FOR VACCINATIONS.

People are so "vaccine oriented" that they tend to want to get their pet vaccinated first, and end up putting off services and labwork which are far more important (i.e. bloodwork, six month checkups,dentistry, etc.).  I truly believe every vaccine that you give your pet every year should be evaluated together with your veterinarian each and every time.  You and your vet should review your pet's vaccination history and create a plan TOGETHER for your pet based on exposure, the surrounding environment, requirements for boarding and grooming, and current disease epidemics.  

The American Animal Hospital Association has an current and in-depth review of vaccinations if you would like to learn more: Click here for the link.